Author Topic: Reflections  (Read 3095 times)

SuzieHarris

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Reflections
« on: January 13, 2006, 11:00:45 AM »
Ok guys,

Give it to me... I write non-fiction as a rule, but I am thinking of writing a novel. Here are a few of the words I wrote earlier. It's first draft, so be gentle!

Suzie xx

Maria cried out in pain as she lay shaking on the floor. The final blow had left her feeling sick and dizzy, her head was pounding and her vision was blurred.  The front door slammed shut.  There was no other sound.  He had definitely gone but she stayed where she was for what seemed like an eternity before slowly rising to her feet. It was dark now and the street lights were casting eerie shadows on the walls and floor. Maria groaned as she stumbled her way upstairs to the bathroom, she paused at the top of the stairs to listen at her daughters’ bedroom door.  It was silent, they were sleeping. It was a blessing that they weren’t awake to see her like this.
It took all her strength to face her reflection in the small gilt edged mirror mounted on the wall above the basin. The sight she saw made her cringe. Her eye was swollen and purple and already closing and her cheek was also turning a rainbow of vibrant colours. Blood trickled from her mouth and she could feel several of her teeth were loose.  Torn clothes were the only clue to the physical violation she had also suffered.
Whimpering, Maria turned on the shower and climbed inside the cubicle, dropped to her knees and began to cry uncontrollably. The water somehow performed a cleansing ritual, but only of her body not her soul.  In her mind she kept replaying the evening’s events, each time it seemed more surreal.  The headache was getting worse with every rerun. 
Suddenly she became aware of the phone ringing and stumbled out of the shower to answer it. As she picked up the receiver to listen she heard a familiar voice speak her name.
“Maria, talk to me.” Shaun sounded flustered. “Maria!” His voice became irritated “I know it’s you. Talk to me, please! OK look, I’ll be home soon. We can talk then. I love you.”
She stood shivering with cold, as she dripped water on the bedroom carpet. Replacing the receiver she walked slowly over to the built in wardrobes and the far end of the newly decorated bedroom and reached the old green suitcase that her mum had given her from the top shelf.  She knew she could not stay here a moment longer. The thought of facing her husband right now made her feel sick.
Maria sat on the edge of the bed and began packing. It was a difficult decision to know what to take as she had no real idea of where she would go.  It no longer seemed important that her silk dress or cashmere sweater wasn’t creased or that all her jewellery was neatly arranged on her dressing table.  Her whole life had to fit in one tiny case, it was a big decision but she had to go and this time it had to be for good.  She knew she should have left years before but like all women in her situation she stayed because she wanted it to be like it was in the beginning, believing one excuse after another until she finally believed she was worthless and that the beatings were for her own good.
The doorbell rang and Maria jumped fiercely. It was not her husband; he had a key. Maybe a neighbour had heard the commotion and called the police.  Who else could it be? It was nearly three in the morning, there could be no other explanation.  A few moments later Maria stood in the hall, hiding in the shadows so as not to be seen.
“Who’s there?” She called out trying to control her shaking voice.
“It’s only me Maria; you didn’t turn up to dance practice so I came to see if you were ok.” Pete said sounding concerned. Pete was her best friend and dance partner at the local dance school.
“I’m ok Pete. Go away please,” she said struggling not to cry.
“You don’t sound ok. Open the door Maria.”
“Go away Pete, please!” she said finally breaking down.
“If you don’t open the door I will break it down.” Pete sounded serious and Maria had had enough commotion for one night and didn’t want to face the police so she opened the door taking care to stay hidden.
“I’m ok really. I’ll see you tomorrow. Goodnight Pete.” She said pushing the door to close it but his foot was stopping it shutting, in an instant he was standing next to her in the hallway. Trying hard to hide her face she backed away as he came towards her. Before she could stop him Pete had switched on the light. He was not prepared for what he saw and he gasped out loud.
“My God, Maria! What the hell has he done to you?” He asked his voice husky with emotion. He reached out to her and as he did so he saw into the living room.  It was a mess. Vases lay broken on the floor and red wine had spilt all over the white Persian rug. It looked like a gruesome murder scene rather than a family home.
Maria couldn’t answer him. A wave of sickness came over her. She could feel her breathing getting more rapid, her throat went dry and her heart started to pound. She lunged forward as the feeling of floating washed over her and she passed out, he caught her and guided her to the floor...


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« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:04:42 AM by Suzie »

BiancaMiller13

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2006, 12:45:33 PM »
Suzie,
I am printing this off now for reveiw.  I will comment asap.

Offline bttrfly972

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2006, 05:18:01 PM »
Great story!!!!  I would like to see how this ends. hopefully with her husband's death by unspeakable torture.  This is a story that everybody can take personally.  This is a real reflection of life and the situations that we as women deal with, but where was she going with her kids still sleeping in their beds? 

Vickie
~Dreams are visions of things to come~

SuzieHarris

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2006, 06:08:34 AM »
Who said she was going without them? You'll have to read it when it's published to find out, lol

Suzie x

mark stanton

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2006, 06:51:53 AM »
Suzie,

I would like to read more. Good story line, addressings issues of today and about things which are not easily spoken about..... I didnt think she was going to leave with out her daughters.

Two little things, I  notice Maria cried out in the first line then Maria maoned before going up the stairs....I know you said it was a draft....but good reading.

Regards

Mark

Offline Symphony

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2006, 09:10:35 AM »
Hello Suzie,

I really enjoyed reading this and you kept me hooked from the very first lines! I hope you don't mind my comments - I'm a complete newbie and know very little about writing so I've commented merely on things that jumped out at me (and nit-picky things they are, too). Please feel free to ignore them all completely and I hope you don't think I've been too harsh. This is only the second story I've commented on and I'm just diving in at the deep end of the learning pool, too.

Here are the things that hit me:

Quote
The front door slammed shut.

Can a door slam any way other than shut? I'm nit-picking but this seems like repetition to me and it stopped me reading - which isn't such a good thing (but that's because I'm a very sad person who stops and thinks about silly things like this)

Quote
Torn clothes were the only clue to the physical violation she had also suffered.

This sentence bothered me a little as there seemed to be plenty of clues - not just the torn clothes!

Quote
Suddenly she became aware of the phone ringing

Apologies - but I have a thing about that word 'suddenly' - particularly at the beginning of sentences. I think it detracts from the power of the words that follow and in this instance simply 'She became aware ...' seems somehow more apt as I would imagine, in her state of mind, that the phone ringing would seep into her consciousness rather than interrupting it 'suddenly'! But feel free to bin this idea ...

Quote
reached the old green suitcase that her mum had given her from the top shelf.

Ambiguity leapt out at me here. Was her mum sitting on the top shelf when she gave her the suitcase? I think if you read this sentence again you'll see what I mean - and it may be really stupid of me, but I tend to read things in very strange ways!

Quote
but like all women in her situation

I've got my psychologist hat on now (sorry) so I have to pick up on the controversy behind this statement - yes, it's probably true but it's very generalised and you don't need that 'image' on the first page of your novel! Perhaps 'most women' - or 'all the women she'd read about' ...??

Quote
The doorbell rang and Maria jumped fiercely

You've set up this atmosphere and Maria's SOM so well already that the 'fiercely' seemed superfluous here - I think the 'jumped' says it all.

Quote
Pete said sounding concerned.

I could very well be talking through my hat here, but the 'sounding concerned' takes the snap out of the dialogue for me. Your dialogue has just shown us that concern - don't 'tell us' about it as well. It slows things down.

Quote
“I’m ok really. I’ll see you tomorrow. Goodnight Pete.” She said pushing the door to close it but his foot was stopping it shutting, in an instant he was standing next to her in the hallway. Trying hard to hide her face she backed away as he came towards her. Before she could stop him Pete had switched on the light. He was not prepared for what he saw and he gasped out loud.

Compared to the rest of your writing, this paragraph was quite slow - a bit stilted. Perhaps a punctuation problem but the sentences also read a little clumsily - it doesn't flow as well as the rest of the story.

I've nitpicked and I hope you'll forgive me. What a great start to a novel. Three great characters there already, a super plot and so many possibilities. Wow! You've also obviously got the knack (how do you spell that?) of keeping the reader interested - can't wait to read more. I hope you carry on with a few more chapters ...

I hope I haven't come across as somebody who seems to know something about writing! These are merely my impressions as a reader - and I hope you'll take them or leave them as such!

Looking forward to reading lots more ...

Symphony





SuzieHarris

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2006, 09:30:24 AM »
Hi Symphony,

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and give you opinion. I know the chapter has problems, both in grammar and punctuation. Believe me, as en editor/proofreader it makes me cringe too. However, that passage was done using Nick's method of 'freewriting'. With that method, you don't worry about mistakes until the editing stage.

I wanted to guage people's reaction to the story, make sure it wasn't too near the lines you don't cross etc.

Reading all your comments here, from everyone, i can assure you that I will now finish the novel :)

Thank you again,

Suzie

Offline Symphony

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2006, 05:33:34 PM »
*loud laughter from this corner*

Oops! I clicked randomly on a story to get me started reading and having a go at commenting, etc. - never looked at ALL THOSE STARS UNDER YOUR NAME! YOU'RE A MODERATOR! Must seem really cheeky of me to head straight for your story ...

Hope you didn't mind too much *sneaks off to hide behind sofa and writes Post-It saying 'Count Stars Before Posting'*

 ::)

SuzieHarris

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2006, 04:13:46 AM »
Symphony,

Relax! hehe. We are all here to learn and to ask questions. Just because I am a moderator doesn't mean I dont value the critiques. It's how we get feedback and improve  ;D

You can say anything to me, and the other moderators. We are a laid back, easy going bunch!

Suzie  :P

Offline Grognoth

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2006, 10:18:27 AM »
Hi Suzie,
This is really good. My only concern is, isn't nearly three in the morning a little late for a dancing partner to call round, whether he's worried or not?

Please finish it. This is not just a story for today, women have been treated like this since humans first walked the earth. Believe me, I know, because I am seriously old! Well, 58 on the first day of Spring.

Telcontar

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Re: Reflections
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2006, 12:30:47 PM »
Hi Suzie,

I'll get the worst bit over with, and say that I have to agree with Grognoth, 3:00 am seemd a strange time to me for a dance parter to call. Mind you, maybe he knows more about the situation than you're letting us know yet.

Other than that, carry on! You've already got me wishing to be the one who has the pleasure of tearing her husband to peices with a pair of snipe-nosed pliers!

Dave.